Stave One: A Hectic Life

The alarm clock rang, it was 6:00 am. December 23rd, a cold, wonderful and full of surprises day. But for Pádme Wesford it was just another day, a day to work and make money. Pádme was a beautiful 29 years old woman. She had long wavily red hair, green eyes, was 5 feets 6 inches tall and weighted 130 pounds. She was a very successful woman, but, like her father, was very greedy. She worked very hard to get what she had and she wasn't going to let anybody ruin her achievements.

Pádme turned off the alarm clock and woke up. She took a bath and then decided to turn on the tv to watch the news while she dressed-up.

"... lots of snow today for all of Maine's northern counties. I hope that it doesn't ruin the holidays. Happy Holidays everyone! Back to you Greg." said the weatherman on tv.

"Tsk, what's so special about this season? Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, pleeeeeaase! I don't get it! It's just like any other season of the year. The only difference I see, is that people go like crazy. They buy and buy and buy again. They are fools! They waste their money on decorations and gifts and then prepare expensive dinners for nothing! They're all fools! When the holidays end what do they have left? Lots of bills to pay and nothing else!" said Pádme angrily as she turned off the tv, got her car keys and headed to work.

Miss. Wesford was the owner of the most important advertising company in Maine, Eaglevans. Eaglevans wasn't very far from Pádme's house. It was a huge white building with lots of shiny crystal windows.

"Any message for me Beth?" asked Pádme as she went inside her secretary's office.

"Yes, Miss. Wesford. Mr. Leatherman called and said that he wanted his Jell-O commercial for today." answered Beth.

"Geez! Who has that account?" asked Pádme.

"Mr. Smith has it." answered Beth.

"I'll talk with him later. Anything else?" she asked.

"Yes, Mr. McAshton came and leave these folders for you. He said that they were very important and confidential." answered Beth as she handed two brown folders to Pádme.

As she went outside the office a tall man softly touched her back with his index finger. She turned towards the man.

"Oh, Mr. Roger Smith! Where's the Jell-O commercial? Mr. Leatherman wants it for today!" said Pádme angrily.

"Y...y.. yes, that's exactly what I wanted to tell you. Listen carefully, this is my idea. A blueberry gelatin says to a raspberry one: 'Hello Jell-o! How ya' doing?' and the raspberry one answers 'Lately I've been a bit jiggly' Got it?" said Roger chuckling nervously.

"You know what I got? A great idea, YOU ARE FIRED! You had two weeks to do a simple commercial and you couldn't do it. Take your things and get out of here in this moment!" yelled Pádme.

"B...b...but, Miss. Wesford, I did it..." said Roger.

"Yes, you did something, something awful!" she said.

"Christmas will be soon and my wife..." said Roger.

"So? I don't care, ok?" she said as she walked away.

Roger's eyes had a strange shine, he was about to cry, but he couldn't show his weak side.

"Margaret!" called Pádme.

"Y...yes Miss. Wesford." said a woman with black curly hair, Margaret Brown.

"You'll have the Jell-O account and I need it for TODAY!" she said.

"F... for today?" asked Margaret.

"Yes, are you deaf or something? I need it for today!" answered Pádme.

"B... but..." said Margaret.

"But what? You can't do it? Never mind, ok? You are fired too! I guess I'll have to do it all by myself." said Pádme walking into her office.

"God! She's in a real bad mood." whispered Joan, one of the employees.

"As usual." inquired Alice, another employee.

"I think that she is worst than ever." said Joan.

"That's for sure." said Alice.

Pádme went inside her office, sat on her desk and began to write ideas for the new commercial.

"Miss. Wesford, Mr. Leatherman is here." said Beth through the intercom.

"What will I do now?" she thought. "Maybe I should... nah. But... God!" she said to herself.

"Miss. Wesford?" said Beth through the intercom.

"Let him pass." answered Pádme.

Mr. Leatherman went inside her office, he was a tall and old man. He had hair as white as snow and eyes as brown as chocolate. Both shook hands.

"Good morning Miss. Wesford." he said.

"Good morning Mr. Leatherman. Please, sit down. Do you want something? A coffee or perhaps juice?"

"No thanks. I just came to get my commercial, you said that it was going to be ready for today, right?"

"Yes, I did. But we had some small problems and..."

"What kind of problems?"

"Well, you know the kind of problems that every company has. But, I promise that I'll have it for today and I, personally, will take it to your house."

"Well, I guess is ok. Then, see you at my house in the afternoon. But remember, I go to sleep at 8. So, try to be there before 8 or else."

"Yes, I will."

Mr. Leatherman shooked Pádme's hand one more time.

"Have a nice day and happy holidays." said Mr. Leatherman.

"Ditto."

He went outside her office.

"Phew! Saved by the bell." said Pádme. "Now, back to the account."

"Miss. Wesford..." it was Beth through the intercom, again.

"What?" asked Pádme furiously.

"Mr. McAshton is on line 2."

Pádme picked up the phone.

"Got it." she said "Hi! Mr. McAshton."

"Did you got the folders?" asked a trembling man's voice.

"Yes, I did."

"Good, what do you think?"

"Think about what?"

"The... did you opened the folders?"

"Well, actually... I was about to open them because, I just got them. I'll call you as soon as I check them, ok?"

"Sure, talk to you soon."

"Yes, very soon." she said as she hung the phone. "Ok, I will check the folders and then work again with the Jell-O account. After this experience I'll never eat Jell-O again."

She opened the folders and read the papers inside them.

One of them had a letter:

Dear Miss. Wesford:

Heaven's Eyes is a company that for over 20 years had been dedicated to serve the less fortunate. Every year we feed and dress over 1,000 people all around the United States. Right now, we are recollecting signs to build a new center in the outskirts of Maine. We need over 300 signs, otherwise the authorities won't give us the permission we need. Please, sign the form and send it back to our headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

God Bless You and Happy Holidays!

Frank McAshton

"Ha! If they think that I'll help them, then they are nuts!" she said to herself.

She opened the other folder, it had the form. Pádme closed it and put the two folders away.

"Who they think they are? Making me lose my precious time in nonsense like this."

"Miss. Wesford, sorry to interrupt you again, but your mother is in line 1." said Beth through the intercom once again.

Pádme's mother, Jill Wesford, was an elderly woman that lived in Rhode Island all alone. Pádme's siblings, Anakin and Leah, visited her very often. Eversince Pádme moved to Maine, 4 years ago, she never visited her family again. Pádme's father, Isaac, had died 5 years ago, on December 24. He was a business man and didn't spent much time with his family.

"I don't have time for her, I'm too busy." said Pádme.

"What should I tell her?" asked Beth.

"Tell her... ah, never mind. I'll get the call." answered Pádme.

"Hello Darling!" said a sweet voice through the phone.

"Hi mom." said Pádme.

"Honey, I know that you are busy right now, but I was thinking that maybe you could come on Christmas and dine with us."

"Mom, I can't. You know that I don't celebrate Christmas. Besides, I don't have time, I don't have your time!"

"Oh, Sweetheart! There's always more time than life."

"Mom, time is gold and I don't want to lose mine. Have a nice day, bye."

"Bye, uhh... Take care darling."

"Yeah..."

Both hung-up the phone and Pádme kept on working in the Jell-O commercial.

After answering to a thousand calls and signing millions of papers, Pádme was finally able to finish the commercial, at 7:32. She only had 28 minutes to get to Mr. Leatherman's house... or else.

She hurried up and took the Shore Road, one of the less transited roads, but it was going to take her to Mr. Leatherman's house in about 20 minutes. It was snowing and the road was covered by a thin layer of ice. While driving, she was thinking about so many things that she didn't focussed on the road.

"When I get home I'll...HA!"

Pádme's car slipped throught the ice, she couldn't control it and the car crashed in a tree. The air bags didn't opened and Pádme knocked her forehead against the car's steering wheel. There she was... unconscious, in a side of the road and all alone.